Healthy and Sane

Oh hi, pumpkin!

November 2nd, 2011 · 22 Comments · dessert, favorite recipes, muffins, pumpkin

Hi blog friends. How’s it going? I have three, THREE days left at my full-time job and my mind is in full force about all the things I will now have time to do. I actually have to slow myself down because it’s important for me that the next few months are a time of reflection. I need to make sure there is enough space for me to explore all sorts of things. One thing I know there will be plenty of – that’s cooking (and dish washing, lol). I can’t wait!!


So let’s talk pumpkin for a minute, shall we? I hope you don’t roll your eyes because well, there certainly have been plenty of pumpkin recipes here on the blogosphere (and magazines and cooking channels). It seems like most of you have been quite obsessed. I’m banking on it because I have a sweet few recipes to share with you too. They are my first of the season (yup, just as the season is ending).


We’ll start with something a little more indulgent and quite special (scroll down for something healthier if you’ve had a little too much candy for Halloween) – chewy chocolate chip pumpkin cookies [made with pumpkin butter]. Just like Jessica, I’m not really into muffin top-like pumpkin cookies. I want softness in that chewy sort of way… the slightly underbaked and gooey, plump-cookie sort of way. Does that even make sense?


See how plump these are? Don’t mistake this for having a muffin-like texture. These are melt-in-your mouth, buttery pillows of heaven. Bonus: Scoop the dough into little balls, then freeze. That’s how you get to enjoy freshly baked cookies any day in just 13 minutes of waiting time (and no dirty bowls).


Make them now. You’ll thank me (and Jessica!). I promise.

PS – I’m loving the blue afternoon light in these pics. So perfect for fall! :)

Now onto something a little healthier – chocolate and peanut butter chip pumpkin pie muffins. These were actually requested by Adam – the only time he’ll ever ask for anything-pumpkin (I may now have to add those cookies to the list. What do you think, Adam?).

chocolate-peanut-butter-chip-pumpkin-muffins chocolate-peanut-butter-chip-pumpkin-muffins-3

He was asking for me to make these muffins (which apparently I made back in November 2008!!! and he’s still asking for them) but Tina’s recipe no longer exists. The key ingredient is definitely the peanut butter chips. Have you ever had them? The Sunspire peanut butter baking chips have no junk ingredients and taste like mellow butterscotch kissed by peanut butter little candies. They are soft and melt beautifully. I’ve been scouting every Whole Foods for over a year to find them (I don’t know why they’ve become such a commodity!). Thanks, Shannon, for buying me 3 bags. Our future will now be much sweeter with my pantry full of pb chips :)


Anyways, back to the muffins… Tina’s “original” muffins were super moist and full of chips. I went with my go-to pumpkin muffin recipe (by Ellie Krieger) which is very light and almost cupcake-like, reducing the brown sugar down to 1/2 cup and adding 1 cup of chocolate and peanut butter chips (combined). The result were these beautiful babies, which I dressed up for Halloween :)


Hi pretty!


I’ve been having one of these for breakfast for the past week and let me tell you – it’s definitely one sweet way to start the day! :)


Are you into pumpkin? Any favorite moist muffin recipes or special treats?

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22 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Meghan@travelwinedine

    I can’t believe your last day is so soon! I am so excited for you!

  • #2 - sarah@spinach and spice

    I just had my first dose of pumpkin this weekend too! Went home (due to a nasty case of bronchitis) and baked myself up a storm :)
    Congrats on (almost) reaching your last day! Onto bigger and better things :) These muffins and cookies look great. Sweet, but not too sweet.. perfect for a bedtime snack! Love that you can freeze them too. Next time I’m home I’m going to try them out and take them back to the dorm room to freeze! I’ll be sure to let you know how they turn out :)

  • #3 - Alaina

    I love pumpkin baked goods! I made an amazing bread from an old recipe my mom had. My office raved about them. :-)

  • #4 - Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    I love using pumpkin in brownies ( and today I just posted a recipe for butternut squash turnovers – it’ll be easy to replace it with pumpkin :)

  • #5 - christina

    they are plump! i love them like that, haha. nice pictures :)

  • #6 - Michelle

    Last year I baked up a storm with pumpkin…and this year I haven’t made anything with pumpkin yet!

  • #7 - Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

    You know I’m not sick of pumpkin yet, so bring it ;). I was eyeing Jessica’s pumpkin cookies when she posted them… so plump and decadent! The muffins look delicious as well – I love Ellie’s recipe, and your addition of chocolate and peanut butter chips sounds fantastic.

    One of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes are those pumpkin pie white chocolate cups ( I made last year. Might have to make those babies again ;).

  • #8 - Hillary Gras @ GRAS Pizza

    YUM!! I need to try that muffin recipe!! I have been seeing pumpkin everywhere – its hard to resist!

  • #9 - Megan

    The cookies and the muffins look great. And I will try to find those chips! As you know, I recently made pumpkin-chocolate tartlets, and I think they are my new favorite pumpkin treat.

  • #10 - Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I can’t believe you were able to wait so long to bake with pumpkin! Looks like a huge success:-)

  • #11 - Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn

    Yay for having more time to things, I bet you’re excited about that!
    Those chewy chocolate chip pumpkin cookies look absolutely amazing, I’d love a tin of those to help me through my essay :-)
    I love pumpkin at this time of the year, I’ve never baked with it but I love roasting it up for dinner!

  • #12 - Daisy

    I’ve been loving pumpkin this season. I’ve made whoopie pies, mac n cheese, soup….the possibilities are infinite. your treats look delish!

  • #13 - selina

    Elina, first of all, congrats on the new “career path”. I can relate what you said in the last post, for sure.
    I must make these muffins soon; they look amazing! In fact, I just saw those chips on sale in our local Coop store. It must be a sign! :)

  • #15 - shannon

    i need to do more with pumpkin, i’ve made some not-so-hot things lately…

  • #16 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    Congrats on being done with your job this week! I quit my job a year ago to be a stay at home mom and it was the BEST thing ever!

  • #17 - Elizabeth

    I saw the recipe for the chewy cookies. I need to try them!

  • #18 - Sable@SquatLikeALady

    GAH I just took my cookies out of the oven — wish I’d seen this recipe first! :( I know exactly what you’re talking about when you describe the texture you like in a cookie — that’s how I like them too!!

  • #20 - What are pepitas? | Healthy and Sane

    […] planned.  It’s ok, it actually kept me full for hours until dinner.  I had another one of my pumpkin chocolate and peanut butter chip muffin (edited to add: it appears that the page for the original recipe is missing; I’ve updated […]

  • #21 - Kelly

    Thanks for sending me the link to this recipe. Have you ever tried making them with the mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s?

    I remember you said you love Trader Joe’s.

    • #22 - Elina

      I haven’t… but that sounds incredible!! This may just be my next batch :)